Fans watch the game in the first half at Royal-Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas on Friday, November 25, 2016. James Gregg/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Football

Texas vs. TCU: Our four pregame questions — answered

Posted November 25th, 2016

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On Friday morning, we asked four questions about the Texas-TCU matchup.

Here’s how they played out:

1. WHOSE SENIOR STAR SHINED THE BRIGHTEST?

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Paul Boyette Jr. — by default.

It was a rough ending for the seniors, who were lauded before their final game. Which one shined the brightest? It wasn’t Tyrone Swoopes, whose 18-Wheeler short-yardage package was kept in the garage on three separate drives that reached the 5-yard line, including two that faced fourth-and-goals at the 1. And it wasn’t Trent Domingue, who missed a 37-yard field goal try in the second quarter and got benched in favor of walk-on Mitchell Becker. And it wasn’t Dylan Haines, who whiffed on TCU quarterback Kenny Hill at the 30 on his way to a 41-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. And it wasn’t Caleb Bluiett, who left the game in the third with an injury. Boyette recorded a sack. It was his only tackle of the game.

2. DID D’ONTA FOREMAN TAKE A BREATHER?

No.

Texas had 46 carries — five fewer than Foreman had himself last week at Kansas — but he had 31 of them. And another 12 were by quarterbacks. So that means running backs not named D’Onta Foreman had only three carries for the day. In his final five games, Foreman had 182 carries.

3. DID TEXAS GET AFTER KENNY HILL?

Yes.

But Hill, the transfer quarterback from Texas A&M in his first season with the Horned Frogs, got away. A lot. He finished with 13 runs for 78 yards, including the back-breaking 41-yard touchdown run near the end of the third quarter. These are two of the top teams in the country when it comes to sacks, as both are ranked in the top 10 nationally. On Friday, TCU got to Shane Buechele four times and Texas sacked Hill three times. Those three sacks were slightly better than the two sacks that TCU has allowed this season. Boyette, Malik Jefferson and Edwin Freeman recorded Texas’ sacks.

4. HOW MANY FANS ACTUALLY SHOWED UP ON FRIDAY?

99,065.

Several thousand, however, began their DKR exits halfway through the fourth quarter — first when it appeared the Longhorns weren’t going to turn things around on offense to fight their way back into the game, then more after Trevorris Johnson’s touchdown run made it 24-9 with 3:45 to go, and even more (in swift fashion) after Darius Anderson’s 70-yard touchdown sprint sealed it with 1:22 left. Maybe it was the final home game of the season, or maybe it was the fight to become bowl eligible, or maybe it was all of the implications on Charlie Strong’s job security, but the fans opted for football over shopping and turkey leftovers.

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